The transition into adulthood is not an easy one, especially for young adults who face challenges such as depression, anxiety, family conflict, or trauma issues. While it is normal to face hurdles on the road to independence, sometimes young adults can get stranded on this road. This has lead to more and more young adults living at home, when the natural progression would be to strive for more independence.

The phenomenon of young adults living at home, who are not on track or making progress on the road to independence, is often referred to as “failure to launch.” While failure to launch is not an accurate diagnostic category, the signs and symptoms can be very real. The following are signs that a young adult’s challenges may be interfering with his or her ability to achieve independence:

  • Difficulty waking up on time for engagements (i.e. school, work, appointments)
  • Procrastination
  • Low tolerance for handling stress
  • Hesitance in taking responsibility
  • Problems holding down a steady job
  • No or unclear purpose in life
  • Poor academic performance (if enrolled in school)
  • Inability to manage money
  • Social isolation/difficulties in social settings
  • Lack of energy/motivation
  • Excessive video game/electronic/internet use
  • Inability to live independently, either financially or due to a lack of life skills
  • Lack of basic adult skills (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.)
  • Difficulties completing major projects

These symptoms, that some people in today’s society refer to as “failure to launch,” may actually be the result of a more serious, underlying problem such as anxiety, depression, family conflict or a trauma. If you suspect that you, your child, or a loved one is having trouble with the transition to adulthood or is experiencing a failure to launch, it is vital to seek help before the problem(s) escalate. To help young adults living at home, recognizing a problem and getting help is the first step to getting back on the path to adulthood, and the road to independence.

Helping Young Adults Living at Home Achieve Independence:

To find out more about helping young adults living at home achieve their independence, download our free, twelve page white paper, The Road to Independence Can Be Rough: It’s Okay to Ask for Help

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